How Inequality Was Digitalised
Thirty years ago this week, the world wide web was born. At some point this year, half the world will be online. That is remarkable progress. But, we cannot simply assume that technology – or access to it – is a force for social good. Of course, it could be used to make life much better for everyone. But, so far, the short-term benefits of the digital revolution have largely consolidated the wellbeing of the few, rather than society as a whole. In the battle against inequality, the allegiance of digital tech is still up for grabs.
Since 2005, the number of people using the Internet worldwide has quadrupled to four billion. Two thirds of the world’s population now own a mobile device. For those with access to these technologies – and the ability to use them – the dividends are many. Health and education services, employment and income opportunities, civic participation options, these are today’s digital pathways to economic, political and social empowerment